Market stall favourite to open ‘city feel’ Caribbean restaurant on the coast
- Credit: Archant
A new Jamaican restaurant will be spicing up a coastal town in the new year as the owners of a market-stall favourite seek to expand their business.
Sarah and Conroy Robinson, 39 and 43, own Coral Bay Caribbean Takeaway at the Norwich and Great Yarmouth markets, and have built up a huge following over the last three years.
But now the couple plan to open a fully-fledged restaurant in Gorleston come January, with the aim of creating a “totally different” dining experience.
Mrs Robinson said: “We got the keys to the site, which is a former St John Ambulance training building on Baker Street, on March 4.
“Lockdown turned out to be a blessing in disguise, because although we had to shut our takeaways, we could put all our energy into this new project.”
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According to Mrs Robinson, everything seemed to fall into place.
“We were driving through Gorleston when we saw this empty unit and thought, that could be our restaurant. We pulled up for a closer look,” she said.
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“Turns out the landlord was there. He’d just bought it, but only wanted it for the garages at the back.
“Then and there, he said he’d happily rent the unit out to us as a restaurant, and didn’t even take any other offers.
“It was weird - but very exciting.”
The restaurant will be able to serve alcohol and play music - opening from 8.30-10pm Monday-Friday and until 11pm on Saturdays.
The most important thing for the couple is expanding their menu and creating an “authentic” city dining experience.
Mrs Robinson said: “At the market our cooking options are limited - but we have so many more dishes offer and can only do that if we have a proper restaurant.
“We’re taking inspiration from Leicester - the place we met - to bring a city feel to the coast.”
Speaking on how the past year has been, Mrs Robinson said her family had coped.
“We had friends in London who died from coronavirus, so even when our takeaways could open we chose not to - and only opened again in July,” she said.
“We didn’t want to take the risk with our two children, so we accepted the state of things, took a rest and built up our restaurant instead.”